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the kids who experience the indescribable joy of sitting at one of these desks for the first time. just tell one person. obama to boehner, get serious. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. the republicans have their plan, and it's great news for the rich. speaker john boehner just put it out. those at the top, the 2%, are safe. your bush tax cuts are going to keep on giving. one problem, mr. boehner, you lost. that was your position before the election, and you lost.
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mitt romney campaigned on keeping the tax cuts for the wealthy, and he lost. and he promised to do what john boehner is doing right now, and he lost. how about some respect for the electorate? how about seeing what the 2012 presidential debate was about? obama championed tax fairness and won. republicans championed protecting that 2%, ignoring the 47% he talked about, and they lost. today boehner said he's willing to raise revenues by the same amount he agreed to back in august of 2011, the last time they had this fight. again, he's willing to act like the election never happened. no wonder. again, he lost. joining me is joy reid of the grio and howard fineman of the "huffington post." joy, you're chuckling because it is weirdly true. it's almost like groundhog day, this guy, boehner, he's not a bad guy, but he's operating on a bad thought here. the election didn't happen. >> it's incredible. it's amazing watching john boehner reach for anything, simpson/bowles which, by the way, assumed that the tax cuts for the top 2% would be gone, but he forgets about that, and boehner is trying to offer the
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same exact policies that mitt romney ran and lost on, that the republicans tried to negotiate with the white house. it is incredible. and the only way i can explain this, the only way i can possibly figure it is that maybe boehner feels like he has to protect his caucus to the end, look like he fought until the last dog died for those 2% rates because then when he caves at the end, which he's going to have to do, he can at least say he tried. >> right. by the way, the white house has rejected his latest offer, which is where he was in august of 2011. by the way, here is the details of what boehner put forward. consists of $2.2 trillion in net savings over a decade. it would include $800 billion worth of revenue from changing the tax code. but not by raising rates. by the way, the same figure that they both agreed on back in august of 2011 during the last dead fight. another $1.2 trillion in the plan would come from other programs including medicare and medicaid as well as discretionary spending. that's appropriations. republicans would also make changes to the consumer price index. now, they're monkeying with that
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cpi this time. they had reduced medicare and social security benefits which they say would save another $200 billion. that will be interesting to fiddle with that one. later this afternoon the white house rejected the boehner offer saying in part, quote, the republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. in fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they would close, or which medicare savings they would achieve. you know this stuff so well. do they seriously propose at this point in our political history after this resounding election, a clear election with a result and a winner and a loser, romney is off in del hoya somewhere riding roller costers, that they would come out and say not only are we going to protect the top 2%, but we're going to give a tax cut. >> yeah, that's their idea of tax reform. that's what tax reform is all about. >> it's ludicrous. >> it's a bargaining position, and i think joy might be right about what boehner is up to
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here. but it's also what they believe, and it's also what they are clinging to. you know how the president was once criticized for talking about people clinging to their guns and their religion? >> rightfully so actually. >> yes. okay. these people are clinging to this idea because it's all that's left. it's the only thing they have that they can identify with as a core republican belief, that -- it's a matter of faith that they're clinging to, and the white house is saying, the numbers will not add up in any other way unless you change the top rates. you have to change the top rates. i talked to jay carney just a little while ago -- >> it doesn't work mathematically. >> he said it just can't work. even though they don't want to, the white house says they don't want to let the bush tax cuts expire and have everybody's taxes go up, if we go into next january, if we go to the next congress, which is more democrats in both the house and the senate, i think this white house will be willing to take its chances that they can pass a bill to cut taxes again for the middle class and leave the rates expired for the top.
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that's their ace in the hole strategy. >> that's a dangerous game though. you do not know what the world markets are going to do. they're watching this in tokyo, in hong kong, they're going these americans can't get their act together. let's get back to the equity issue. i sometimes think -- remember the british -- the raj days of the indian army all fighting for british rule, but it was the indian army fighting for british rule. is that the republican party? is that who they are? they're not 2%. the republican party is not 2%, but yet half the country almost, 47%, are still out there fighting for that top 2%. they're the gurkha army. >> it's amazing. >> why are they doing this? >> you sound like you have just described the tea party. that's what i think the tea party -- >> they're not rich. >> a bunch of guys middle class themselves fighting to the last dog dies making sure rich people get their tax cuts. its incredible. they will say it's because i never got a job from a poor guy. okay. but if you give somebody who has millions and millions of dollars another $100,000, they're not
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going to spend it into the economy and hire someone, they're going to send it to the caymans, which is what mitt romney did with his tax cuts. that's what they're going to do. the economic theory is not sound. if you give somebody with $50,000 another $1,000, they're going to spend it. >> at christmastime instead of a working stiff gets $50 for a thank you, they gave their 50 bucks to the boss. is that how -- >> by the way, a long time before the tea party existed or had a name, grover norquist, the famous anti-tax lobbyist in washington, was running around beginning to enforce ayatollah-style his edict about taxes, and he got republicans beginning back in the '80s to sign these tax pledges, which, as i say, that tax pledge has really become the core identity of the modern conservative republican party. >> okay. we got a new candidate, fred
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barnes, he's a smart conservative. he's not some crazy. he would like to give the tax cut at a million. here is what he wants to do. an increase in the individual income tax rate for the affluent may be unavoidable. obama did spend the last two years proselytizing for such a hike and voters were well aware of it when they re-elected him. but the white house has said that the rates don't have to return to clinton era levels. obama's nemesis, as he often told us, are millionaires and billionaires. so why not urge that the higher tax rates be applied only to those with incomes of $1 million and not the couples earning more than $250,000. now, i'm talking pure politics, not equity in this case. can they hang their hat on the fact, okay, you're against millionaires, we'll take back their cut for the millionaires? below that they have to get the deal. >> the problem with this is chuck schumer and other senate democrats tried to offer this to republicans last time. remember the last time we did this, they rejected it. >> it works for them now. they can say all we want is the schumer deal.
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>> right now they don't have the leverage to get the schumer deal. they rejected the schumer deal. they don't have the leverage to get it. >> here we disagree. i think they may have a case. if the bogeyman is the millionaire -- >> i think that's where it's going to end up. i think that's the flexibility in the negotiations at the end is over whom the higher rates apply. >> but they don't raise that much money if you do it this way. >> it's true. it's a sliding scale. the higher up you go, the less money you raise. >> is it a debt reduction thing or an equity thing at that point? >> for the president it's both about the arithmetic and about the point. it's about the point of everybody paying their fair share. >> let's talk now about where we're at. people tuned in to find out where it's at. roughly speaking what happened on sunday is geithner, smart guy, not a political guy at all. he's kind of soft-spoken, unlike some of us, me especially, so he goes on the sunday shows. he does a full ginsburg because that was monica --
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>> all the shows. >> lewinsky. >> her father. >> the lawyer, not the father. they made the point over the weekend where they stood. basically the administration's position is clear. we want the rich to pay their share. listen to the voters, respect the voters. today the republicans came out and said, no, we don't hear that in the voters out there. the house was re-elected republican, so all we're going to do is go back to where we were the last time we were head to head and offer an $800 billion tax increase, but we're not saying where it's coming from, and we're going to throw in some tax cuts for the rich besides. the white house came back late this afternoon before we went on the air, about five minutes before we hit the air, and said no deal. this is no deal because all it is is more breaks for the rich. it's not giving anything on what this election was about. so where are we at? >> we're nowhere. boehner keeps saying we offered revenue. just like before the election,
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they won't specify where the revenue comes from. are you going to go after the deductions for health care? sock it to the elderly and the tax treatment of medicare. they won't be specific. they say the white house won't be specific. i think lindsay graham is probably right, we're not going to be able to get a deal by the end of the year because each have staked out negotiating positions that the other cannot possibly accept. >> i don't believe this deduction thing. i don't buy this. the minute you come out and take away charitable deductions, every philanthropic -- >> you can't do it. >> it's never going to happen. i know the white house people are planning to leave town starting on the 23rd, 22nd, 23rd. they're all saying, hey, we're out of here. there's no deal. >> what does that mean? >> i think they're willing to say -- i know you're concerned about world markets. >> i'm worried about the way the world looks at us. >> i think the world markets are sophisticated about who we are and the way we operate -- >> what, that we're clownish? >> no, that we'll push the argument as long as we possibly can. and there is a case to be made that the president and the democrats will be in a stronger position when the new congress arrives.
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and i think even though this is not their favorite -- favored outcome, that the white house is willing to roll the dice on that, and they're willing to wait until january and allow the bush tax cuts to expire. >> i think it's playing a very dangerous game. you saw what happened -- joy -- >> i'm with howard. >> i'm against both of you on this because i saw what happened in august of 2011 when this thing went on last time. and we had a credit downgrade and what we're worth in the world -- we are the currency of the world. we have a responsibility to the world. i don't want to sound too grown up here, but i am, and i do worry about the president of the united states is the leader of this country. the democratic party is the government party and the governing party. if the republicans want to play british parliamentary politics and vote as a unit against anything good, that's a screw up. >> look at it from the president's point of view. he ran on this for the last two years and he's -- >> shove it down their throat before christmas. >> we have two problems. one, we look ungovernable. i'm with you on that, chris. we look like we have a party that will not allow the president to assume the governing authority he earned
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with an election. on the other hand, i think the world markets would -- have priced in, we disagree on that -- we can get away with -- the deal will eventually get done. exactly. that's the exact point. i think the markets believe we will eventually do the deal. it's just whether we do it before or after january 3rd. >> when you pay your bills on time, you're impressive. when you pay them late, you're not. anyway, thank you. coming up, maybe grover is not over. there's a great phrase. for a couple weeks republicans could be seen saying they were no longer bound, human bondage, to grover norquist, but lately some of them have been quietly over the telephone slithering back into grover's embrace. this is embarrassing for some of these senators. they come out against the guy and say it doesn't matter, then sneak back in on the phone. i'm sorry, grover, i'm sorry. plus, the election is over but it could already be beginning for 2016. let's watch. >> i can tell you, i don't think we've heard the last of hillary clinton. ♪ girl you're amazing just the way you are ♪ >> i just have an instinct that
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the best is yet to come. >> a lot of basking in that by the secretary of state. i saw that video, it looks like she enjoyed the proposal that she run for president. we'll be back with that later. republicans are still stunned over what happened on election day. they blame the urban vote. i love these codes. the underclass. they really are talking about america today. get used to it. those are the people that voted for president obama. americans. they're stunned because they hate obama and only talk to other republicans who also hate obama. get it? they're in this bubble and when the bubble bursts, they start to cry. finally, let me finish with how the nobodies finally won, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ ding! ] ...and spend time on the slopes. take alka-seltzer plus cold & cough... [ buzz! ] ...and spend time on the chair. for non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief. take dayquil. use nyquil d... [ ding! ] ...and get longer nighttime cough relief.
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use alka-seltzer plus night cold & flu... [ coughs ] [ buzz! ] [ screams ] ...and you could find yourself... honey? ...on the couch. nyquil d. 50% longer cough and stuffy nose relief. wow, president obama's asking florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz to stay on as chair of the democratic national committee. big news for her. she's a frequent guest on this and other tv networks. she's been the head of the party since the spring of 2011. democrats won seats in the house
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and senate besides the president's re-election victory. the dnc will meet the day after the inauguration to elect its officers. we'll be right back.
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the question is, i feel almost sorry for john boehner. in some ways he has to deal with this base of the republicans who grover norquist represents, and everybody has elevated grover. i met him for the first time. nice to meet him, but who is he? why is he this guy who has captured so much attention in this? >> that was senator claire mccaskill on "meet the press." asking a good question, who is grover norquist and how does one man who doesn't even get elected by anybody to anything become such a force? as she put it, norquist has come to represent the base of the party and the heart of the opposition to any at the potential fiscal cliff deals speaker boehner can work out with the president.
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he can't work anything out without this guy's approval. yesterday grover norquist warned of a wave of tea party anger, a tea party two that would dwarf anything we've seen before. let's take a look at the threat from grover. >> understand how ugly the next four years are going to get. everything in obama care that obama didn't want you to focus on or think about, the 90% of his trillion dollar tax increase, was pushed over until after he got himself safely re-elected. all those regulations you're now hearing about, okay, that are being -- those all hit after the election. we got four bad years of regulation taxes, he wants to add higher taxes to that. tea party two is going to dwarf tea party one if obama pushes us off the cliff. >> there's a dr. strangelove. how many republicans will be willing to stand up to that threat? david corn is here to talk about it, the washington bureau chief for mother jones and the author of "47 percent." he's a member of the gridiron society.
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and john feehery is a republican strategist. grover -- you're playing defense here -- one man elected to nothing. the fact that saxby chambliss comes up, i don't have to live up to some pledge i made 20 years ago and calls up and has grover on the phone going through the transcript of what he said and he's apologizing for each segment of it. what's going on? a senator has to kiss butt to this guy? >> i have known grover for a long time, and i like him, and he's representing -- >> you're afraid of him, too. >> i'm not afraid of him. he represents a cause, and he's been amazingly successful because taxes have gone down for a long time because of grover. what do we know, because taxes are automatically going up. republicans understand if you have to cut a deal, you have to cut a deal eventually. i think it's easier to cut a deal after the taxes automatically go up. then you're fighting for tax cuts, not tax increases, but we'll see. and the fact of the matter is that grover is just a vessel for a bigger issue. taxes used to be -- >> he seems to be calling the shots.
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>> he's not calling the shots. >> last week to figure out -- last week on the media there's a lot of reporting that saxby chambliss stood up to grover or broke with him. here is what he said. let's look at that first. >> i care more about this country than i do about a 20-year-old pledge. >> do you think that grover norquist would hold a no new tax pledge that you signed 20 years ago, would he hold that against you in an upcoming re-election bid for the u.s. senate? >> well, you know, in all likelihood, yes, but i don't worry about that because i care too much about my country. i care a lot more about it than i do about grover norquist. >> well, "the washington post" reports today that five days after making those comments on television -- on radio rather, chambliss and norquist spoke on the phone. as norquist read allowed a transcript of chambliss' earlier remarks item by item, norquist recalled later, the senator
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repeatedly assured him on each one of those points that he did not mean to imply they had major differences when it came to gop principles on taxes. he said he wished he hadn't invoked my name and wished that he had been clearer, norquist recalled from the monday conversation. i don't know how you explain that. we will have to hear from saxby chambliss. the fact he had to call this guy and let this nobody read a list of complaints and have to apologize for each one is outrageous. >> grover is not really the big issue. it's the tea party itself and the fact that the republican party, we saw it in the primaries, we see it in the congressional races, too, that they're basically being held hostage by the far right ends of the party. the reason why boehner has trouble cutting a deal is not because boehner can't cut a deal. i think in five minutes' time he and obama would come up -- >> excuse me, excuse me, you're wrong. you're wrong. all that grover has to say, all he has to say is, we're in a
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particular fiscal crunch right now, and we've got to make allowances for that. if he did that, a lot would change. >> grover only counts because these tea party guys, the 50, 60, 70 in the house, they have a theological opposition to any -- >> let's go -- >> all they're worried about is being primaried from the right -- >> i know -- let's talk about the caucus you used to work with and know. >> very well. >> aren't there a lot of people over there if grover came out and said these are peculiar times, we have to make a couple adjustments. >> members of congress should not have to negotiate with grover norquist. >> but i'm asking you an open question. would that have any influence? >> it could but it would -- for grover he's an activist. he's someone -- he has his ideals, and if he compromises on that, that's harder for him. the fact of the matter is -- listen, saxby chambliss is a hero. he's a guy who is in the arena trying to cut deals, and it's hard because you have people on both sides attacking you all the time. david, you're right, the members of congress and senators are worried about primaries. if you don't get -- that's why
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it's so hard to cut deals these days. >> they're more of a drag than -- >> but i see guys -- i'm not tying you into this. you seem like a regular republican. but -- i mean it. there's a difference. every time somebody offends rush limbaugh, we've been through this for years, they call up and apologize. every time we see a guy question grover norquist's power, they call up and apologize. what is it about going back to the alter every time if they don't matter, that particular man has to be apologized to. >> i don't think -- >> why did saxby do it? >> i think -- >> he's worried about -- >> i think what saxby is trying to do, the hard work he's trying to do, and grover knows, and everyone knows these taxes are automatically going up. some point in time -- >> it's december 3rd. ready? he got to get this done by december 31st under ideal circumstances. what is grover's role going to be the next three weeks? >> i think he's going to continue to be the guy against taxes. he's not going to change at all. >> if we don't have any taxes on the deal, there won't be a deal. the democrats -- >> there is no deal. the white house people have told me again and again that the president doesn't want to go over the cliff.
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he'd rather cut a deal -- >> let's talk about the taxes. >> but he's willing to on the tax deal. >> to get the taxes up on the rich. >> let me say -- >> finish this point. two years ago when he gave in on a temporary extension of the bush tax cuts to get a second stimulus bill, the president said at the time i'm not doing this again. a lot of people didn't pay attention to his vow, but i think he's damn serious. >> my view, there's only one issue that matters, and that's what are you going to do about entitlements. if you don't cut entitlements, there should be no deal. >> that's not the crisis -- >> they're going to do that. how damaging is the fight over the fiscal cliff to the republican party right now? let's take a look at what conservative commentator bill krystal said on fox. >> the republicans are at real risk in my view now of looking like they are defending -- keeping the current tax rates for the wealthy. at the end of the day president obama is selling a simple message, i want to keep taxes low for middle class americans, and republicans look like -- i'm worried they're in the position of looking this, if they don't
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care about the middle class and want to keep tax rates low for wealthier americans. >> yes or no, is he right? yes or no? >> i don't think so. it's far too easy. >> he's right. democratic strategists are giddy. for two years they've been trying to make this argument, the republicans are going to hold up -- >> let me go back. i think he's wrong. i think ultimately if we don't get a deal, it's bad for president obama, bad for his legacy, and bad for democrats. >> i think you're right, but i also think that your party lost this election, they should act accordingly, and they're not doing it. >> john boehner didn't lose. john boehner still -- >> that is exactly where you're all screwed up. you know, when tip o'neill was speaker with a lot more seats than you guys have, he never claimed he had a national mandate because he saw reagan had one. we vote for president of the united states. the american people do not vote for john boehner. you're dead wrong, and i'm thrashing you. up next, some wishful thinking in john mccain and john kerry. watch how kerry stays out of this. he's not campaigning, and he's
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careful here. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." at the kennedy center honors last night comedian ray romano paid tribute to david letterman but slipped in a bow to president obama. >> you want to win the world series. do you quit, you're down one game to nothing? no, you keep going. you keep going. do you quit when you're down 1-0 in debates? no. no. you keep going. >> that's true. this year's honorees included dustin hoffman, led zeppelin, and more. and the president spoke to them at a white house reception and pointed out a hiccup in his own speech writing process.
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>> we've got buddy guy sitting next to dustin hoffman. we've got dave letterman alongside one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. i don't think dave dances. i worked with the speech writers, there's no smooth transition from ballet to led zeppelin. of course, these guys also redefined the rock and roll lifestyle. we do not have video of this, but there was some hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around. so it's fitting that we're doing this in a room with windows that are about three inches thick. >> anyway, here is meryl streep, by the way, also in town for the event taking a picture of herself. here she is and secretary hillary clinton. bill clinton along with others says if there's a movie made about hillary clinton, meryl streep should get the part. next, secretary who? at a u.n. event to benefit people with disabilities, john mccain took on the rumors of who will be the next secretary of state after an introduction from
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john kerry. >> senator mccain. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. >> kerry stepped up again after mccain but refused to bite on that one. >> thank you very much, mr. president. this is what happens when you get two losers up here, folks. >> that was a good line. kerry has been careful to stay clear of the public speculation about whom the president will actually pick to replace hillary clinton. also, arizona governor jan brewer, she's a heavyweight, in a comment about global warming. she doesn't think it's manmade, but her own explanation for climate change is rather lacking. here is what she told a local reporter. >> everybody has an opinion on it, you know, and i probably don't believe it's manmade. i believe that, you know,
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weather and certain elements are controlled maybe by different things. >> another pathetic comment by an enemy of science. up next, it sure looks like hillary clinton is running for president. we have the latest signs next. and you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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we're back. hillary clinton is running for president. those are the words of "new yorker" editor david remnick this week after he attended the saban forum. he writes of a tribute video in which american and world leaders display their love for the secretary of state and leave the door open for her future plans. i'd say wide open. here it is. >> someone who knows a thing or two about political comebacks. i can tell you i don't think we've heard the last of hillary clinton. ♪ because girl you're amazing just the way you are ♪ >> i just have an instinct that the best is yet to come.
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>> well, it was quite a tribute. i watched it this afternoon. he goes on to say there was much chatter about what clinton would do after she steps down from the cabinet next month. get a haircut, take a few weeks sleeping off the jet lag at canyon ranch, read the polls and the political landscape, do good works, do good works for the good people of, say, iowa, and so on. everyone had a theory of which they were very proud and were 100% certain of. there wasn't much doubt about the ultimate direction. 2007-2008 was but a memory. 2016 was within sight. she's running. this is the editor of "the new yorker" magazine. ed rendell is the former governor of pennsylvania and future chief of staff to president clinton. she's the editor-at-large, joan walsh. i'm sorry, ed. i'm sure you have a bigger job in mind. let's go to mr. inside first. let's go to the knowledge base of an insider who is close
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friends with not just bill but very close friends with hillary clinton as well who knows them and i believe would get the first call when they do decide to make the run probably next year or the year -- early the following year. but when they make the call, tell me what you think will be in their thinking when they call. how to do it differently? how to do it better? how to do it faster? how to scare off the opponents? all that. >> well, first, let me say i believe what hillary says right now. i believe she's tired, she's beat up, and if you injected her with sodium pentothal and said are you going to run for president, she'd say no. is she persuadable? of course she is. and are the hundreds and thousands of people who want to see her run going to take a shot at it? yes, they are. when she's relaxed and not so tired, could she make a different decision? very possibly yes. but i don't think it's a done deal by any means, and if they do do it, the answer to your question is, yeah, they've got to do it totally differently.
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they've got to get out early. have her husband there raise a boat load of money, make sure that there are resources if it is a fight down the road, and if i was advising hillary, try to get her to preempt the field, and i think she has a chance to preempt the field. >> and don't forget the caucuses. they forgot those. places like south dakota that they overlooked, those places. joan, your thought, because i want to get to the governor about the inside. your thoughts about will she or won't she? what it sounds like from the governor, it's going to be like ike in '52 where henry cabot lodge and hugh scott, they had to beg them to run. this could be the first time in history where the people had to go to the candidate the governor is saying. >> i think that's true, chris, and i agree with the governor. she's probably draftable. when she gets cajoled and guilt tripped by liberals and women and people who really believe -- >> why wouldn't she want to be president if it's offered to her?
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>> do you know why? because it's not being offered to her, and that's the one thing that i want -- that's the point i want to make the most strongly. i have to say, i had a very weird reaction to that video. i supported her in 2008. i hope she runs, and if she runs, i expect to support her in 2016, although we don't know what the future will hold, but the most dangerous thing for hillary clinton is to believe what people are telling her about how she walks on water. we had an inevitable front-runner in 2007 in the democratic party, only she lost. and i would hate to see that happen again. but the festschrift of that video and the adulation and the sense that it's just hers for the asking i think is poison for hillary clinton, and so i would advise her to put that video away and never watch it again and make a decision based on the future of 2016. >> you're so smart, joan. let's go back to a candidate the governor backed. when i was writing speeches for jimmy carter and you were
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running around in philadelphia building the case with billy green, young billy, to build the case for the inevitable nomination of ted kennedy, it was inevitable for about a week, and then he announced and it wasn't. so tell me, are you a little afraid of that? >> there's a possibility, but i think hillary learned from 2008. i think she's burnished her resume. if americans thought, and a lot of them did, a majority of democratic voters, i hate to open up old sores, but a majority of democratic voters voted for her in 2008, and if they believe she was ready to be president in 2008, after her incredible performance as secretary of state i think democratic voters do respond to a clinton presidency bid. there's no question -- >> how does she -- go ahead, governor. go ahead. i'm sorry. your voice. >> no, no, the answer to the question though is you once asked me would i want to be
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president, and i said, chris, i would be president if i woke up and found i was president, i wouldn't resign, but i don't want to run for president. right now hillary clinton doesn't want to run for president. she doesn't want to slog through iowa. she doesn't want to slog through new hampshire. that can change, but i think she honestly means it right now. >> question i have to ask, and i'm not an insider with her but i have warmed to her a lot over the years, and i have been very regretful of being too tough on her. i have been very regretful, and i really mean that even though i'm chuckling all the time here. joan, here is the question. how do you keep that aura of statesmanship, of being a world leader when you get in the trenches, because they are rough out there. you get into iowa and you got a bunch of reporters chasing you around for every comment you make. how do you stay up there like eisenhower was? >> i think it's tough to be an eisenhower figure in this media landscape, and i think the clintons, you know, they rise -- their star rises and falls, and
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were she to run, there would be more people out there trying to pick her apart, chris. it would be worse than in 2008. she's also -- she's very much tied to the obama presidency, which could mean if he has a fantastic four years, that's good for her. on the other hand, the media are so fickle. we all know this. that there would be people, you know, out there gunning for her. al gore was not able to become president on the strength of the clinton presidency, so, you know, there's just a lot -- there are a lot of land mines in the way. i think she could do it, but, again, she'd really have to decide why she wants to be president and tell that story to the american people and make it be about 2016, not 2008 or 2000. >> i think clinton -- i think bill clinton rises and falls, but she always rises, but your thoughts, governor, last quick thought. >> chris, just think as we discuss this issue, think of who is out there in the democratic party that could actually make a serious challenge to her right now. i certainly agree that the general election would be, you know, nip and tuck and would be hard fought, but who is out there that could preempt her?
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possibly the vice president, but his base and his fund-raisers are the same as hers. there's just nobody out there who i think can contend with her. >> i don't see martin o'malley beating her. i see martin o'malley on the ticket. i see andrew cuomo having the same base. it would be tough. thank you, governor. i know you thought this through. >> no baby boomer ticket, chris? >> i don't know. >> hillary and ed? >> that would be a great ticket. >> baby boomer ticket. >> i think you guys are too close to be running together. i don't think the ticket is supposed to like each other that much. joan walsh, thank you. governor rendell. up next, why are republicans so stunned that their guy lost? we'll talk about how the nobodies, that's what they call the people that voted for obama, pulled this one off. this is "hardball," the place for politics. whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
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back to "hardball." to listen to republicans these days after the election, you would get a sense of genuine shock at the makeup of the electorate. they're surprised who votes in this country. his running mate said he was surprised by the turnout from urban areas. let's take a look. >> i think the surprise was the turnout in urban areas which gave president obama the big margin to win this race.
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>> let's watch a little more comprehensive look at this. this is from a good guy. tom davis. he talked about the democratic turnout efforts among the, quote, underclass minorities. his choice of words were checked by salon's joan walsh. let's watch it. >> voter turnout has changed dramatically as the underclass minorities are starting to vote. >> mr. davis, i want to give you free advice, i don't think you should refer to the underclass. that's a really dated word and that's not who we are talking about here. >> economically they have less. i'll us a more politically correct term. no offense, obviously. >> it's just a more accurate term. when we talk about people who make less than $50,000, a lot of those are -- those are middle class people, too. some of them are working poor. >> that's not where the voter turnout came. it's really the people making less than that pulled out of the apartments, groups that
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traditionally haven't voted. >> pulled out of the apartments. a phrase used by governor romney as well. given what is at stake, why were republicans so surprised when the 50 so called 47% voted heavily this year showed up. john and bob shrum. gentlemen, it's great to have you on. because i find that i keep trying to figure through the mind set that we were hearing what is called the mainstream media, where we kept hearing that romney has a really good thing of winning this thing and from the establishment types and then all of a sudden there's an election and there's this other america, some of it was other america in the sense of the book. your thoughts, john? still using terms to sort of diminish or separate poor people, minorities from being of the american electorate, like it's, oh, it's that over there. that's that. >> look, the franchise is a thing that's evolved through american history and once upon a
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time you had to be white and mail and own property and i think there still is an embedded mentality that those are the only people whom at least make considerate decisions, right? maybe the others should be allowed to vote but they are not thinking for themselves so they are being pulled out of their apartments. others are making the decision for them and they are going along in a way that isn't quite the same way that you and i would make a decision. that's the mentality. >> that is well said. bob, hard to beat that thought. they are not autonomous. they are just being driven by a group. they don't have any individual thinking going on here. >> look, what drove a lot of them was that mitt romney said he didn't care about tax fairness, he wanted to let the auto industry go bankrupt, basically alienated latinos and hispanics, and obviously offered nothing to black people and unmarried women. now, over time -- and jonathan is absolutely right about this, we've ex panned the franchise in this country. there's always been a plutocratic response to that.
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you will remember the defense secretary saying what's good for general motors is good for the country. this year, of course, what was good for general motors was bad for mitt romney. >> yes, it was. i was thinking of the election up in canada and the french-speaking people lost their effort to separate from canada. >> right. >> and the leader of the french-speaking people says, oh, that's because the ethnics voted and the people that weren't french speaking. the jewish and indians had moved into that part of the country that had become canada but they were not considered canadian because they were not french speaking. >> right. and there isn't the same mentality on both sides because the republican voted coalition is almost entirely white. the democrats have a lot of white voters but also a lot of nonwhite voters. so the democrats haven't become
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accustomed of not being real votes. >> you have to visually -- if you look at the two conventions, not to be partisan this way, but if you look at a republican convention, it looks monochromatic and there's a few women there with power and then at the democratic convention, it's pretty diverse. it's interesting. it's like america. >> yeah. >> it's different. >> when you turn the camera randomly on at the democratic convention and point it in any direction, you would see the diversity of america. the only time you see diversity at a republican convention is when the camera is pointed at the podium and they have people carefully appointed to stand up and speak. the fact of the matter is that you have a whole bunch of entitled americans that think they should own this country, some on the grounds of race, some on the grounds of wealth, and they just can't believe that people went out and voted divisively rejected mitt romney and his message. look at the madness going on right now on the fiscal cliff stuff.
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romney lost and boehner is insisting on the romney plan. we have elections in this country for a reason. >> bob, you can be a minority at republican conventions, you're just not encouraged to gather. >> it's hard to get enough of them together. >> no, you're not supposed to get together too much. that concerns them, then. your thoughts? are they going to learn their lesson this time, that there's an america out there? >> you can't say the republicans are in the same place as they were before. >> you must have am microscope. jonathan, very well spoken, very articulate fellow. bob shrum, thank you. bob shrum, you are always articulate. we'll be right back. mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you --
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let me end up tonight on this thing about the nobodies having re-elected president obama. i'm talking about the way the other side looks at it, the people wonder about the emergence of the so-called underclass, people being pulled out of their apartments to vote last month. the people who voted for john f. kennedy back in '60 were the same collection of nobodies, the less well off, the people without a lot of sway in business or in power generally. no, they just happened to be the people who have a right to vote and used it. and this is more than disturbing to the people who are calling the shots. it's been downright stunning, in fact. and just as stunning four weeks later because they weren't ready for it for the simple reason they weren't used to it. well, it happened. and let's assume not for the last time.
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